1st Edition

Social Movements and Organized Labour Passions and Interests

By Jürgen Grote, Claudius Wagemann Copyright 2019
    244 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    244 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book is about the building of alliances and about joint activities between two groups of social movement actors ascribed increasing relevance for the functioning and the eventual amendment of democratic capitalism. The chapters provide a well-balanced mix of theoretical and empirical accounts on the political, social and economic catalysts behind the changing motives finding expression in a multitude of novel types of joint collective action and inter-organizational alliances. The contributors to this volume go beyond attempting to place unions, movements, crises, precariousness, protests and coalitions at the centre of the research. Instead, they focus on actors who themselves transcend clear-cut social camps. They look at the values and motives underlying collective action by both types of actors as much as at their structural and strategic properties, and inter-organizational relations and networks. This creates a fresh, genuine and historically valid account of the incompatibilities and the commonalities of movements and unions, and of prospects for inter-organizational learning.

    List of Tables and Figures



    1. Introduction: Passions, Interests, and the Need to Survive (Jürgen R. Grote and Claudius Wagemann)

    2. Social Movement Theory and Trade Union Organising (Andy Mathers, Martin Upchurch and Graham Taylor)

    3. Unions as Social Movements or Unions in Social Movements? (Mario Diani)

    4. Interests and Types of Solidarity in Union-Community Alliances (Amanda Tattersall)

    5. Social Movements and Trade Unions in Cross-Movement Counter Mobilization. A Polanyian View on Social Movement and Trade Union Cooperation (Sabrina Zajak)

    6. Social Movement Unionism: A Toolkit of Tactics or a Strategic Orientation? A Critical Assessment in the Field of Migrant Workers Campaigns (Maite Tapia and Gabriella Alberti)

    7. Social Movement Unionism in Spain? (Holm-Detlev Köhler and José Pablo Calleja Jiménez)

    8. Trade Unions and Social Movements at the Crossroads: A Portuguese View (Hermes Augusto Costa and Elisio Estanque)

    9. Conflict, Competition and Collaboration in the Realm of Labour. Trade Unions and Precarious Workers in Italy (Alice Mattoni)

    10. Trade Unions in Greece: Protest and Social Movements in the Context of Austerity Politics (Markos Vogiatzoglou)

    11. Countermovement Formation in Times of Radical Change (Claudius Wagemann and Jürgen R. Grote)





    Jürgen R. Grote has been Senior Research Fellow at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin and coordinator of an international network on Labour Relations in Context. He has held the Marie Curie Chair in Public Policy at Charles University in Prague and has worked as Associate Professor, Lecturer and Research Fellow at the MZES-Mannheim; the EUI-Florence; and the Universities of Konstanz, Darmstadt, Potsdam, Jena and Osnabrück. His main research interests include topics such as forms of organized collective action by both capital and labour, European integration, critical governance and relational analysis, on which he has published and co-edited many articles and several books.

    Claudius Wagemann is Professor of Qualitative Empirical Social Science Methods at the Goethe University Frankfurt, where he served as Dean of Studies and as director of the inter-faculty Methods Centre. Before this he worked as a scholar at the then Istituto Italiano di Scienze Umane (SUM), as Research Associate at the EUI Florence and as an Adjunct Professor at New York University’s and Stanford University’s study abroad programmes. He has extensively worked on set-theoretic methods, above all Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and Fuzzy Sets, where he has co-authored a leading textbook in the field (Cambridge University Press, 2012). His interests extend to topics of the mobilization of right-wing extremists, the quality of democracy and interest group research in general.

    "The division of political labor between "self-regarding" associations and "other-regarding" movements -- between "interests" and "passions," if you will -- has been getting more and more blurred.  This collection of essays accepts the challenge of explicating these changes from the perspective of trade unions.  Its analytical focus is unusually consistent -- the oblique reference to Albert Hirschman is not accidental but is elaborated quite rigorously. Coming from a wide variety of European countries, the authors expose their arguments both theoretically and with a view to crucial cases in the EU’s South. I recommend this volume to all students of associational politics and not just to those interested in labor relations." — Philippe C. Schmitter, Professor Emeritus of Social and Political Science at European University Institute, Florence

    "This volume provides a compelling framework along with a set of European case studies to begin conceptualizing what a response, or countermovement, to neoliberalism and its resulting crises in Europe and beyond might entail. The authors argue that the key lies in rethinking the distinctions between, and the important roles of labor unions and other social movement organizations, and how alliances between them might be initiated and/or strengthened, thereby encouraging movement beyond particularism and the transcendence of distinctions between passions and interests. I highly recommend this informative volume!" — Judith Stepan-Norris, Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Irvine

    "Trade unions are - as the Webbs put it - ‘continuous associations’, and their organizational persistence allows them to embody historical learning, and also to synthesize interests across a broad worker constituency. But they can become tradition-bound, bureaucratic structures, slow to adapt to new challenges. ‘New social movements’ escape many of these weaknesses of trade unionism but also lack many of its strengths. Can the positive features of both be integrated, and if so, how? To a large degree, each is the focus of distinct literatures which too rarely interconnect. The virtue of this book is to make fruitful connections between these separate research traditions, offering some hope for an alternative collective response to neoliberalism." — Richard Hyman, Professor Emeritus of Industrial Relations at London School of Economics and Political Science

    "This volume is a welcome reminder that, despite all, trade unions did not end with the twentieth century. They continue in a lively field of social movements animated by passions, interests, and the sheer need to survive." — Georgi Derluguian, Professor of Sociology at New York University-Abu Dhabi and the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences

    "...the editors should be praised for asking ambitious and relevant questions about the future of worker organization in the current context, defined by post-democracy, growing inequalities, ecological collapse, and the rise of neofascism."-- Ian Thomas MacDonald, School of Industrial Relations, University of Montreal